With a forgotten temple city, Myanmar hopes to strike tourism gold

The Guardian, 11 July 2017:

With a forgotten temple city, Myanmar hopes to strike tourism gold

When time began there lived a lonely monkey who met a peacock, who laid an egg from which was born a mighty prince who built a city on the spot of his birth and called it “monkey egg”. Whatever the myths around its creation, by the 15th century, Mrauk U (Monkey Egg) was the capital of a powerful kingdom and one of the richest cities in Asia.

Up to the 18th century, it was a vital trading port for rice, ivory, elephants, tree sap and deer hide, cotton, slaves, horses, spices and textiles from India, Persia and Arabia.

In the centuries since, it crumbled into a backwater town in Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state. But the city where Christians, Muslims and Buddhists once lived in harmony can still be glimpsed in its hundreds of ruined temples, fortifications and storehouses – mostly ignored for more than 100 years.

Source: With a forgotten temple city, Myanmar hopes to strike tourism gold | Julian Hattem | Global development | The Guardian

USM launches archaeotourism packages to bridge public and archaeology

Archaeology fans can get their hands dirty and dig up ancient artefacts at actual excavation sites in Perak and Kedah or at a mock excavation site at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

USM recently launched its archaeotourism package, especially aimed at students and visitors interested in archaeology, for a hands-on tour of actual archaeological sites in Sungai Batu and Lenggong Valley. There is also an USM Archaeology Gallery within the USM compound in Penang that details all of the archaeological sites in Malaysia, with exhibits of artefacts dug up in those excavations.

Source: Like archaeology? Now you can dig at real excavation sites | Malaysia | Malay Mail Online

Tourists behaving badly, in Bagan now

Coconuts Yangon, 07 June 2017: Naked tourists strike again, this time in Bagan. Some badly behaved tourists decided to strip naked at the sacred temples of Bagan and post it on Instragram. The photos were later taken down, but not before their actions were already captured.

You know, considering that Bagan is literally strewn with signs warning foreigners of dressing inappropriately, you would think that they’d get the hint. However, it seems as though at least one foreigner went screw it, and decided to do away with clothing altogether.

Yesterday, model Warso Moe Oo drew attention to the Instagram account cheekyexploits which, as the name suggests, displays photos of people baring their butts. While we didn’t realize there was an entire part of the internet dedicated to such a bizarre ‘hobby,’ there’s obviously no harm done, right? Well, there wouldn’t be, except a recent post shows a white woman baring her butt in what is supposedly Bagan, according to their geotag.

Source: Instagram couple removes nude photo at Bagan after Myanmar netizens report them | Coconuts Yangon

Angkor revenue up from due to price hike

Multiple news reports write that tourist revenue for the Angkor temples is up significantly, due in no small part to the revised ticket pricing put into effect earlier this year.

Revenue from ticket sales to foreigners visiting Cambodia’s Angkor archeological park rose to 45.9 million U.S. dollars in the first five months of 2017, up 64 percent compared to the same period last year, according to an official report released on Thursday.

The ancient park welcomed 1.09 million international tourists during the January-May period this year, up 12 percent over the same period last year, said the report of the state-owned Angkor Enterprise.

Source: Ticket revenue in Cambodia’s Angkor park up in 5 months – Xinhua | English.news.cn

See also: Angkor Wat tickets bag $60m (Khmer Times, 02 June 2017)

Explainer: the rise of naked tourism

The Conversation, 29 May 2017: Remember when a couple of years ago, there was a rash of tourists taking naked photos in Angkor (see here and here)and other inappropriate places?

The trend of ‘naked tourism’ reveals something more than just bare bottoms – and it may call for some active interventions.

Source: Explainer: the rise of naked tourism

Old school building gets new life as the Bagan Information Centre

Myanmar Times, 26 May 2017: The JICA-funded tourism information centre in Bagan is scheduled for completion at the end of the month and will be turned over to the authorities.

The construction of an information center in the Bagan cultural zone for local and foreign tourists will be completed by the end of May.

According to Assistant Project Manager for the Bagan Tourism Development Project, Daw Yu Yu Lin, from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the project will be completed by the end of May.

“It will be finished by the end of this month. After completion, the centre will be transferred to the government. At present, we do not know which department runs it,” she said.

Source: New Bagan info centre opening soon

Angkor tops TripAdvisor list

TTR Weekly, 24 May 2017:

TripAdvisor announced the winners of its Travellers’ Choice awards for Landmarks, Tuesday naming Angkor Wat, Cambodia, as the world top choice.
Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for landmarks, worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period. The awards recognise 706 landmarks in 82 countries.

Source: Angkor tops world tourist landmarks : TTR Weekly

Borobudur price hike ruffles tourism industry

TTG Asia, 19 May 2017: The travel industry in Indonesia is complaining of an ‘unannounced’ price hike for admission to Borobudur, Prambanan and Ratu Boko temples.

Source: Lack of clarity on Borobudur temple fee hike ruffles agents’ feathers – TTG Asia – Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News

At Myanmar’s tourist spots, a growing litter problem

Frontier Myanmar, 23 May 2017

The thoughtless disposal of litter by domestic travellers is creating a growing rubbish problem from the ancient temples of Bagan to remote waterfalls in Shan State.

Source: At Myanmar’s tourist hotspots, a dirty habit | Frontier Myanmar